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house Bill H.R. 296

Ending Tax Breaks for Professional Sports Leagues

Argument in favor

Professional sports leagues rake in extraordinary amounts of money and their tax-exempt status essentially allows these organizations to be subsidized by taxpayers. They should be required to pay taxes.

IllWill's Opinion
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10/11/2017
I strongly disagree with the political motive behind this bill. NFL players have every right to kneel during the National Anthem. However, these professional sports leagues should have never had tax-exempt status. They should be taxed like any ordinary business.
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Brandon's Opinion
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10/11/2017
The NFL makes billions of dollars of Tickets and merchandise which is all taxed why should all their profits be tax free? On top of tax payer dollars going to fund the construction of greedy owners billion dollar stadiums.
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Nuzcraft's Opinion
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10/11/2017
Why should these organizations be treated differently than a normal business? Please require them to pay taxes like everyone else.
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Argument opposed

Professional sports leagues are the substance of the American pastime and do a lot of charitable work with the money they make. Taking tax breaks away from them could raise costs that will be passed on to fans.

Todd's Opinion
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10/11/2017
Countable needs to amend the summary of this bill because it does not include the political reason for its introduction: The NFL players kneeling for protesting excessive police violence and killing of black and brown people in our country. This bill is entirely political as punishment for protesting. To get to a real policy, most charitable organizations are lead by greed, hoarding money for themselves and evading the IRS. Perhaps it is time for all charity organizations to pay their fair share of taxes as well, Mr. Chaffetz?
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Malcolm's Opinion
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10/11/2017
Passing this bill in retaliation to the NFL protests is a direct violation of our rights. Freedom of speech means the freedom to speak freely. Period.
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Michael777's Opinion
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10/11/2017
While I do support reversing tax breaks on profitable businesses, I can not support this bill because of why it was introduced: To take revenge against the black NFL players who simply exercised their right to free speech and take a knee. Snowflake Republicans need to grow the heck up and accept that people have different opinions and have the constitutional right to express their opinions in nonviolent ways.
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What is House Bill H.R. 296?

This bill — the Pro Sports Act — would remove professional sports leagues from the Internal Revenue Code's list of tax-exempt organizations, effectively requiring them to pay taxes. Any professional sports organization that has annual revenue in excess of $10 million — think the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL), or the Professional Golf Association (PGA) —  would be prevented from being classified as a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt organization. Leagues under the $10 million threshold would be still be eligible for tax-exempt status.

Impact

Professional sports leagues; their teams, players, coaches, and fans; and the IRS.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 296

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) assumed the sponsorship of this bill following former Rep. Jason Chaffetz's (R-UT) retirement, which would end the tax-exempt status of professional sports leagues:
"Like many Americans, I was dismayed and disgusted to see multimillionaire athletes sitting or kneeling during the national anthem. Standing for the national anthem shows respect for our nation, and for the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. Those hard-fought freedoms include freedom of speech, and free speech does include protest. But nowhere in the Constitution does it say that Americans are required to subsidize disrespect for America, or to have their tax dollars wasted on corporate welfare to sports teams. Tax reform is currently the top priority of Congress. We must close this loophole in the tax code, and end taxpayer subsidies for professional athletics. If players want to protest, they have that right — but they should do it on their own time, and on their own dime."

Of Note: The National Football League (NFL) has recently come under intense scrutiny following numerous domestic violence scandals and protests of the national anthem. This extra attention has led some to wonder why the NFL - and other professional sports leagues - are classified as tax exempt entities by the IRS.

Major League Baseball gave up its tax-exempt status in 2007 and the National Football League followed suit in 2015, but the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated in 2014 that closing the tax loophole would generate about $10 million in tax revenue annually and $109 million over a decade.

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Marine Corps - Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg / Public Domain)

AKA

PRO Sports Act

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude major professional sports leagues from qualifying as tax-exempt organizations.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 5th, 2017
    And churches too!
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    Countable needs to amend the summary of this bill because it does not include the political reason for its introduction: The NFL players kneeling for protesting excessive police violence and killing of black and brown people in our country. This bill is entirely political as punishment for protesting. To get to a real policy, most charitable organizations are lead by greed, hoarding money for themselves and evading the IRS. Perhaps it is time for all charity organizations to pay their fair share of taxes as well, Mr. Chaffetz?
    Like (173)
    Follow
    Share
    I strongly disagree with the political motive behind this bill. NFL players have every right to kneel during the National Anthem. However, these professional sports leagues should have never had tax-exempt status. They should be taxed like any ordinary business.
    Like (244)
    Follow
    Share
    The NFL makes billions of dollars of Tickets and merchandise which is all taxed why should all their profits be tax free? On top of tax payer dollars going to fund the construction of greedy owners billion dollar stadiums.
    Like (104)
    Follow
    Share
    Why should these organizations be treated differently than a normal business? Please require them to pay taxes like everyone else.
    Like (90)
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    No taxes for sports teams...that’s just ridiculous.
    Like (35)
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    Passing this bill in retaliation to the NFL protests is a direct violation of our rights. Freedom of speech means the freedom to speak freely. Period.
    Like (33)
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    Such an entity should not have any tax breaks at all. They make enough money as it is and I do not see them giving back all they profit from.
    Like (31)
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    This is a no brainer.
    Like (23)
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    While I do support reversing tax breaks on profitable businesses, I can not support this bill because of why it was introduced: To take revenge against the black NFL players who simply exercised their right to free speech and take a knee. Snowflake Republicans need to grow the heck up and accept that people have different opinions and have the constitutional right to express their opinions in nonviolent ways.
    Like (15)
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    So let me get this straight, the rape us with high ticket prices and pay no taxes
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    They make insane amounts of money and should have to may taxes on it just as any other large for profit corporation or business does
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    The NFL should pay taxes just like my business does.
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    Does no one realize the NFL gave these tax breaks up over 2 years ago? Churches should also be subjected to taxes.
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    The outrageous amount of money being made should. be taxed...Lets include churches also. thank You
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    Even though I don’t agree with the fact that this is being used as a punishment for the protests during the national anthem, I do agree that professional sports leagues should be taxed.
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    No matter the reason behind this bill it is still the right thing to do. No professional or semi-professional spots organization should be exempt. The people that foot the bills for this country are the ones that struggle the most. It’s about time those with more than enough start chipping in. Sadly if this bill passes we will just end up paying for it still by higher ticket and merchandise prices.
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    We the taxpayers paid for a billionaire s football stadium and he gets tax breaks for it. And I get a .3% cola and you raise my Medicare .5%, I am so very pissed off.
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    While I don't favor subsidies the intent here is vengeful and childish.
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    The owners of pro sports teams get enough tax breaks on their new stadiums. Let them pay their fair share of taxes like everybody else.
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